Marriage is difficult. I got married 5 days before my husband started business school at Yale. He was on the Investment Banking track. What that meant in my world was that I wouldn’t see my husband for the next 4 months as he prepared for innumerable interviews, events, and attended the accelerated course load that comes with an ivy league school. Even after 6 years together, I had to become a whole new woman. In the new film RED KNOT, a young, newly married couple take this idea to the extreme as they honeymoon on a research vessel near Antarctica.
Peter is a writer who is doing a handful of articles on the “songs” of whales. Chloe is his doting and submissive wife. The two share a tiny cabin aboard the ship RED KNOT. As they sail the open arctic ocean, Peter becomes more and more consumed with his career image and Chloe is left in the wake. From the outside, it is a relatively formulaic progression. We’ve seen it a million times and tried to warn friends, but unless you are in it, unless you are experiencing it, advice and opinions fall on deaf ears.
The breakdown is as such: New couple learning to become as one unit. Separation leads to secrets, then resentment and finally abandonment. Peter (Vincent Kartheiser) and Chloe (Olivia Thirlby) search attention elsewhere and one of them turns to their inner resiliency. Who are they as individuals? What happens when things aren’t picture perfect? Who breaks first?
Kartheiser, as per usual, is a dream on screen. His strong and yet never overwhelming presence is a catalyst for this relationship. Thirlby is elegant. Her vulnerability is effortless. The quiet moments in this film speak volumes. The cinematography is so successful in expressing the scenic vastness of the region as well as the emotional between Chloe and Peter. The diary entries scattered into the narrative are a glorious breath of fresh air in style.
RED KNOT is a film that will resonate with anyone in a marriage. Frankly, anyone who has been in a relationship where isolation gets the better of them. See RED KNOT. It is a beautiful portrait of two people just trying to make themselves happy.
(PS– In case anyone is concerned, I am still very happily married to my husband. I don’t need any emails from our readers, that is unless you’d just like to say “Hi” or have a similar story to share. That, I strongly encourage! What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. We grew together and overcame the shift in out relationship. Yes it took work.That’s the definition of a great marriage.)